It's been so long since I've had a chance to vent on this list about this!
On 4/29/13 8:43 AM, Katherine Casey wrote:
Yeah, the sheer domination by numbers of masculine
voices - even when
they're not /trying /to argue from a particularly masculine
perspective, can just be draining in situations like this.
/Especially/ when they're not trying to argue from a particularly
masculine perspective, frankly, because it's very hard to get across
"I know you're not /trying /to ignore the value of a slightly
different perspective, but..." without making them feel like they need
to defend themselves and go on about how we're reading into them
things they're not saying, they're not biased, men are capable of
being open-minded, there's no single male perspective, etc. All those
things are true, and before any of our male allies on this list get
upset, I want to acknowledge that...but at the same time, that
gender-related invisible knapsack
<http://ted.coe.wayne.edu/ele3600/mcintosh.html> can just sort of
steer male-dominated discussions in directions that a more
gender-balanced conversation might not swerve, or might not swerve so
Ha! That is exactly what happened when I said I was no longer watching
the page and I was disconnecting myself from the discussion on the
Amanda Filipacchi article:
I have never read that essay - thank you for sharing it! Interesting, I
/was/ lucky that my education and my interest in punk rock music taught
me about "skin color" privilege, wealth privilege, and male privilege,
but, when I moved into different areas of work (and a flipside getting
my masters which was 95% women in the program, however, majority were
Anglo, which is another issue that museums - and open culture - are
trying to sort out) it wasn't until I got involved (again) in the
"gender fight", this time focusing on Wikipedia, that I realized what
was happening. And it's often a challenge to walk the line of wanting to
call out male participants in some regards, but also acknowledge allies.
On an interesting twist, I even find that male allies are often unaware
of who they sympathize with and the life they lead and how they got that
life. It's really prominent in the tech industry, and I'm sure else where.
It's quite a challenge - I don't want to be the sexist jerk, but at the
same time, there is a lot happening that people aren't realizing they
are doing or a part of and it's hard to know how to educate them - or if
you should even say "Oh, and thanks to all those white guys who built
Wikipedia..I appreciate it...BUT..." which I find myself doing
sometimes. And then I get comments on Facebook saying I'm being a jerk
to the white guys and I just facepalm, because inside I'm laughing going
"oh, poor white guy! Truth hurts!" I was also told recently "you should
be more polite and have less attitude when you talk about gender issues,
maybe more people would listen," (by a white European male who
identifies as an anarchist who is prone to cursing). It's been
emblazoned into my head, mainly because of who said it - not that it's
changing my ways.
Commons, especially, is just completely dominated by certain
viewpoints with regard to sexual images, and Sarah, you get tons of my
respect for just /attempting /to function there, because I certainly
can't do it. I might be able to handle an inadvertent boys-zone
atmosphere - I hang out on enwp, after all - but my blood pressure
just can't handle the level of aggression Commons bring to bear on
anyone who dares speak for the deletion of potentially-damaging images.
I've had to stop. It's been months now since I even nominated a "nudie"
image for deletion. I now just upload my images, and when I have time,
or depending on my work, I do some gnomish stuff. After I was told (by
white male editors) to curb my loud mouth behavior so I an become an
admin someday, I totally stopped. I'm still shocked I let that happen -
but, on the flipside, as you put it - it's terribly demoralizing,
depressing, and painful to participate on Commons. I thought, if I could
become an Admin, perhaps I could *really* make a difference. At least on
Wikipedia you know there are some women, or at least active allies and
women you can even call on when needed (canvasing isn't a policy :) )
for help or support. Most of the women I know go "Oh no, I'm not going
on Commons, hell no!" LOL.
P.S. On re-reading the threads from my original email, I note that I
was wrong about the "100% male" thing - Beria Lima commented twice. So
uh, 99.999% male?
Ha! Glad at least one woman was there.
*/Museumist and open culture advocate/*